New Canon low-light sensor can record images in pitch dark
The newly developed CMOS sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size – which is more than 7.5 times the surface area of the pixels on the sensor in Canon’s flagship full-frame DSLR the Canon EOS-1DX.
“Thanks to these technologies, the sensor facilitates the shooting of clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination, or approximately the brightness of a crescent moon—a level of brightness in which it is difficult for the naked eye to perceive objects,” according to the Canon announcement.
“When recording video of astral bodies, while an electron-multiplying CCD,*2 which realizes approximately the same level of perception as the naked eye, can capture magnitude-6 stars, Canon’s newly developed CMOS sensor is capable of recording faint stars with a magnitude of 8.5 and above.”
Using a prototype camera which housed the new Canon full frame sensor, the company recorded footage of a dark room being illuminated only by burning incense sticks (approximately 0.05–0.01 lux) and video footage of the Geminid meteor shower.
The image below shows a moonlight scene recorded before and after increasing sensitivity using the new Canon full frame sensor.
The company says it his aiming the new Canon full frame sensor at astronomical and natural observation, as well as medical support and the surveillance and security industries.
However, the announcement suggests that through further innovation the sensor could “expand the world of new imaging expression.”